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  5. "Sie schreiben uns ein Buch."

"Sie schreiben uns ein Buch."

Translation:They write us a book.

April 16, 2013



Can someone please confirm what cases uns and ein Buch are in?

I think ein Buch is Accusative (according to its grammatical form and to the question it answers -- what?).

Is uns in Dative here because it answers the question to whom?.

Thank you!


You can think of the sentence this way to make the case of uns more clear:

  • You write [to] us a book.
  • Sie schreiben [zu] uns ein Buch.

I don't know, though, if adding the zu is permissible. The to in English is allowed--just usually omitted, especially colloquially.


In German you should not add "zu" there.

Also, in the cases where "zu" is used the word order is "zu + Infinitiv".


Not at all.

Ich gehe zum Bahnhof.

"zu" also means "to", not just the beginning of the infinitive phase.

On the other hand, "zu" always goes with Dative, (even though the meaning can suggest otherwise). So it isn't the word you should keep in mind when asking whether something is in Accusative or not.


Ummm, in the example I give, zu is a preposition, not a particle nor an adverb: it's not tied to the verb, but rather to uns, the indirect object.


So....shouldnt it be "einen buch"?:(


No, because (das) Buch is neuter.

See this table on Wikipedia for the declension of articles according to case and gender.


Should it not be ' writing a book for us'?


If you mean "They are writing a book for us", then ja. Auch: "They write a book for us."


That is a funky sentence, isn't it?

  • 1131

they write a book for us?


See response to RowenaJane's question about that from last year.


Wrong translation into English. You'd never say this.


Why not "einen Buch"?


Because Buch is a neuter.


Why " They are writing a book to us" is wrong?


I am also wondering the same :(


I'm not convinced that sentence makes any grammatical sense in English. You write a book for someone - omitting the for is just not good English, however direct the translation?


Could I write you a letter? Could you write me a song? Could they write us a poem?

So why could they not write us a book?

It may sound unusual, but perhaps that because most people don't take the time to write a book at all.


I was penalised due to a spelling error, I missed the c from "schreiben" (oops!), but I didn't think it would mean I'd lose a heart! :(


Yeah, you would think die Eule might be more forgiving when the misspelling couldn't be a different word.

But a spelling error might make all the difference in the world: "Sie isst ein Baby" instead of "Sie ist ein Baby."

Or how about commas? My boy just reminded me that commas save lives:

  • Let's eat, Grandma.
  • Let's eat Grandma.


Honestly saying: "They write us a book" is strange.


It could be sarcastic. "I asked them a simple question, and they wrote me a book in reply."


Does the dative pronoun always precede the object?


Normalerweise, ja. NDA => Nominativ, Dativ, Akkusativ

Unless the the Akkusativ is a pronoun, then it will come first.

"NDA" is an acronym for "Non-Disclosure Agreement", which has no bearing on the German grammatical rule, but the acronym is familiar to me and so I remember it. It's also in reverse alphabetical order, and it seems that very often German grammar is backwards from English grammar, so that may help as a mnemonic.


They're writing a book to us should be accepted as well, shouldn't it?


"They write us a book"? That's not English! So says my last linguist wife, too.


" . . . My last linguist wife"? You had a first--and maybe second or third--linguist wife before you got to this, your last linguist wife? And those are your linguist wives, to distinguish from your artist wives, dentist wives, and scientist wives?

Oh, my!


Ah, the joys of polyamory!

Actually, she's also my first linguist wife, and indeed my only wife of any stripe whatsoever. I'm not sure how that "last" snuck in there, to be honest. Probably my phone did something automatic. It does that. Sometimes it plays my game for me for a while.


My phone has what I like to call "Auto-incorrect".

And a good friend of mine liked to introduce his bride (of 30 years) as "my current wife". Just to remind her that she could be replaced. (Though there was no way he ever would.)



Why not "You write a book to us"?


Why is "You write for us a book" marked wrong?


I think a better English translation would be "They write a book for us"


They are saying that the correct answer is Sie schreiben uns eins Buch! That is an error right? I wrote Sie schreiben uns ein Buch and they said is wrong! :(


Wow, you can drop a final "ch"? Or am I hearing poorly? I was hearing "sie schreiben uns ein Buh," and I was totally mystified about what a "Buh" might be :-)


They are writing .. British English They write ... American English. Both should be accepted.


It should translate to English, 'They are writing us a book.'


I would say I should have known it was refering to YOU instead of SHE or THEY, but the verb is consistent with THEY, if its SHE or YOU shouldn't the verb be schreibt instead of schreiben? How am I supposed to be able to tell? The context gives me nothing, the only clue would be the verb and apparently that means nothing.


The verb form tells you if it's “She” versus “They” or “You (formal)”:

• ‘Sie schreibt’ = “She is writing”

• ‘Sie schreiben’ = “{They|You (formal singular&plural)} are writing”

The context is the only thing that could disambiguate between “They” and “You (formal)”, but there is insufficient context in this case.

‘schreibt’ is the familiar plural form; ‘schreibst’ the familiar singular form:

• ‘Ihr schreibt’ = “You (familiar plural) are writing”

• ‘Du schreibst’ = “You (familiar singular) are writing”


I had a spelling mistale too!! It was 'schribe' instead of 'schreibe'. Bit i dint loose a heart


I answered "You are writing a book to us" and it crossed out the to but said a correct translation was "You are writing us a book". Aren't they the same thing?


Quite a bad sound... Missed the SCHreiben


"They are writing a book to us" should also be right answer.


Nein. And you mean "right answer."

It's a subtlety. They could write a letter to us. They could also dedicate a book to us. But one doesn't usually write a book to anyone.


Is 'They write a book to us' correct?


A book to us. Is ok too


There is a wrong pronunciation if wir


Which word did you find to be a bad pronunciation of "wir"?

  • "Sie"
  • "schreiben"
  • "uns"
  • "ein" oder
  • "Buch"?
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